Fight the famine — feed the future

Joint blog by Jamie Drummond and Marieme Jamme:

ONE and Africa Gathering today co-hosted a meeting at ONE’s London offices to share information and discuss both short and long term solutions to the current crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Discussion focused on how to ensure there is a platform for African voices to be heard on this issue, including those from the Horn of Africa, and especially from Somalia, to advocate for solutions that will stick.

Often in the past the international community has not listened sufficiently, nor acted with a sophisticated understanding of cultural issues or the local situation. As a result opportunities for progress have been missed. We are determined to do our part to ensure mistakes are not repeated.

Attending were a cross section of representatives from the African entrepreneurial community, international development community including Muslim Aid, Disasters Emergency Committee and other development groups, diaspora communities, artists and Somalian grassroots groups as well as members of the media.

Amongst many views expressed, we discussed the following action items, and many of the attendees agreed to act together to:

  1. Encourage the media to interview local experts and voices from the region about short and long term solutions.
  2. Campaign aggressively that the short term and long term financing gaps are met. ONE has launched a petition calling upon world African and world leaders to do just this. – Short term: the short term financing gap for the famine and crisis appeal must be urgently met.So far a short term need of $2bn has been identified, about $1bn has been contributed, a further $269m has been pledged but not yet contributed, and a gap of $739m for which no pledges have yet been made by the international community. You can follow the latest in appeal pledges and contributions here -Long term: the long term financing must also be found for sustainable solutions especially through often-promised investments into agriculture and food security in the Horn and indeed across Africa. African governments have promised to spend 10% of their budgets on agriculture through the Maputo Declaration – yet only 6 governments so far have met this promise. Similarly the international community promised many times including at the L’Aquila G8 to fund long term agricultural development in the developing world especially sub-Saharan Africa, yet so far donors have only met 22% of their promises according to a recent report on Agriculture Accountability by ONE.
  3. Advocate for a political solution and roadmap for Somalia out of this entrenched crisis. It is appropriate that regional bodes like the OIC and others, for example the Qatari government, show leadership on this issue and work with Somalian civil society to come up with a lasting solution.
  4. Further encourage African leadership in civil society and the diaspora, both cultural, policy-making and private sector leaders, to step up and raise their voices more on this issue with practical actions in mind.

Attendees included:-

Saif Ahmed CEO MADE in Europe
Mark Tran Journalist Guardian
Hadeel Ibrahim Executive Director Mo Ibrahim foundation
Kingwa Kamencu President Oxford African Society
Kath Hindley Deputy Chief Executive DEC
Andy Shipley News Editor Plan UK
Mustakim Waid Public Relations Manager Somali Relief and Development Forum
Jonaed Afzal Emergency Response Manager Muslim Aid
Marieme Jamme Spontone Global Solutions Africa Gathering
Sol Guy Co-founder 4REAL Manager of K’naan
Bunmi Olurantaba African Blogger
Lilly Peel Features Editor
Katheleen Bomani Africa Gathering
Belinda Otas African Blogger/Journalist
James Birch APPG on Agriculture
Tolu Ogunlesi African Blogger for 234NEXT
Dean Ricketts Watchmen Agency
Hussain Abdullah Frontline SMS
John Morris Journalist
Bernard Aryeetey Save the Children
Mark Galloway The International Broadcast Trust
Dawda Jobarteh Africa Progress Panel
Amber Rudd MP for Hastings



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